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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 11 June, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Business Innovation, Regeneration, Economic Development, Planning and Transportation

 

Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance on Upper Holton Road - Response to Public Consultation

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to inform Members of the findings of the public consultation carried out on the draft Upper Holton Road Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and to seek Member’s endorsement of the SPG, as amended following consultation, so that it may be approved for development control purposes.

Recommendations

That subject to consultation with Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (E&E):

 

1.             The findings of the public consultation exercise be noted and the consultation responses (Appendix A) be endorsed.

2.             That the Upper Holton Road SPG (Appendix B) as amended, be approved for development control purposes.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To inform members about the consultation responses and to ensure respondents are made aware of the Council’s response to their representation.

2.             To allow the SPG to be considered in the determination of any planning applications.

Background

2.             A draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Upper Holton Road Development Guidelines was prepared last year. The SPG seeks to establish specific design guidelines for the future development of the Upper Holton Road local centre, as well as influence the pattern of land uses within the area. With regards to influencing land uses, the draft SPG responds to the recommendations of the Vale of Glamorgan Town and District Retail Centre Appraisal (that were previously adopted by Cabinet Minute No. C155 refers) by identifying a core retail area, in which it is deemed prudent to consolidate retail activity. Outside of this core retail area, the draft SPG advocates that the Local Planning Authority will favour the conversion of commercial properties to residential, where it can be demonstrated that the design of the conversion will enhance the overall quality of the property and the character of the surrounding area.       

3.             The SPG is split into four main sections; the first section provides the background context on the condition and reasons as to why the SPG has been developed. The second section offers advice on general design principles for shopfronts and outlines the Council’s design expectations for new or replacement shopfronts within Upper Holton Road, whilst the third section provides similar guidance for advertisements to commercial properties. The final section meanwhile discusses the local planning authority’s stance on the conversion of commercial premises to residential uses in the area and provides information on how this may be successfully undertaken.

4.             The draft SPG was approved by Cabinet as a draft for public consultation on16th November 2011 (Minute No. C1521 refers) following consultation with Planning Committee and the Council’s Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee. Following this, a 10 week public consultation exercise was carried out between 4th January 2012 and 14th March 2012, in accordance with the Council’s protocol for consultation on SPG.

5.             This report considers the results of the public consultation referred to above, and sets out proposals for the formal adoption of the Supplementary Planning Guidance.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             At the same time as the SPG consultation was taking place two other separate but linked consultations were also undertaken for the Upper Holton Road area. These were a consultation on proposed additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation, as well as a consultation on proposed financial assistance for improvements to commercial properties on Upper Holton Road. The results of these public consultations are being considered under separate Cabinet reports at future Cabinet meetings.

7.             The SPG consultation process consisted of a notification letter with accompanying information and a response questionnaire sent to every building within the Upper Holton Road local centre as well as targeted consultation with interested parties. The consultation process was also advertised on the homepage of the Council's website, whilst an online questionnaire was available throughout the consultation period to allow for representations to be made. The letters and webpages contained officer's contact details, in order that any queries could be responded to. Additionally, officers were present at three public drop-in sessions on the 18th January, 25th January and 7th February 2012. The drop-in sessions were held at the Castleland Renewal Area Office at 198 Holton Road, between 2pm and 6pm. Finally, the consultation proposals were also discussed at a landlord's forum meeting and a letting agents meeting held on the 16th and 29th February 2012 respectively.

8.             During the consultation period a total of 21 consultation responses were received. The responses came from a range of consultees including business owners, the town council, a housing association and an environmental organisation. The consultation produced a mainly supportive response, with some objections. A summary of all responses is contained in Appendix A.

9.             A number of the objections received related to issues involving the use of financial assistance to improve the condition of commercial properties in the Upper Holton Road area (which were part of another consultation for the area being undertaken at the time). These objections did not specifically object to the content or purpose of the SPG. It would appear that because separate, but linked consultations were running simultaneously there has been some confusion in responding to the appropriate consultation. Although some confusion has arisen, information packs were sent out to consultees that contained details of all the consultations for the area that were taking place. This included a summary sheet for the SPG which provided a brief and clear overview of the scope and purpose of the SPG (see Appendix C). This information was also included on the website, whilst the form of the questionnaires was different for the separate consultations. Furthermore, as has already been highlighted a number of drop-in sessions were held throughout the consultation period, where officers were on hand to explain the purpose of each individual consultation and answer any questions. The objections that were received in relation to financial assistance being provided to the commercial premises in the area have duly been passed on for the consideration of the relevant officer dealing with that consultation exercise.

10.        In light of the representations received, it is recommended that the text of the document is changed to include some background context of how the guidance should complement the existing regeneration works already taking place in Castleland. Additionally, it is recommended that the text of the document is changed to more explicitly highlight that as the area is being promoted for more residential uses, the introduction of further A3 uses are likely to be resisted. Meanwhile, the section of the SPG which discusses the Local Development Plan should also be updated to reflect the current position of the Local Development Plan process.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

11.        The SPG has been written and designed in-house by officers within the Economic Development Unit, of the Planning and Transportation Division, and within existing budgets. There are therefore no additional resource implications associated with this report.

12.        The SPG will not result in any significant impact upon climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        Section 38(6) of The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, requires that, in determining a planning application the determination must be in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Meanwhile Section 70(2) of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, also specifies that where a local planning authority deals with an application for planning permission, the authority shall have regard to the provisions of the development plan, so far as material to the application, and to any other material considerations.

14.        The Welsh Government's document, Unitary Development Plans Wales (2001) advises that Supplementary Planning Guidance may be a material consideration in deciding planning applications. It indicates that substantial weight will be given by them in making decisions on matters that comes before it to SPG which derives out of and is consistent with the development plan, and has been prepared in the proper manner. SPG should be prepared in consultation with the general public, businesses, and other interested parties and their views should be taken into account before it is finalised. It should then be the subject of a Council resolution to adopt it as supplementary guidance.

15.        If adopted the SPG may be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications/appeals.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.        None arising directly out of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.        It is not proposed to produce the SPG bilingually, at this juncture. This is in line with previous SPG that has been produced, and because the document contains technical matters which are therefore generally only published in English.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.        The Planning and Transportation Service Plan 2011/12 sets a corporate improvement objective to "protect and enhance the Vale's natural and built environment". The preparation and adoption of this SPG would significantly assist the achievement of this objective for the upper Holton Road area.

19.        Additionally, the production of town centre action plans are considered as important initiatives to regenerate and revitalise urban areas of the Vale, in line with the corporate priorities of the Economic Development Service Plan 2010/11.

20.        The SPG will also contribute to the Council’s Improvement objectives for 2012/2013, notably objective 7 which states “The underlying causes of deprivation are tackled and the regeneration of the Vale continues, opportunities for individuals and businesses are developed and the quality of the built and natural environment is protected and enhanced".

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This report is a matter for Executive Decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        Local ward members from Buttrills, Castleland and Court Wards were consulted in relation to the SPG.

23.        Further consultation has been undertaken on the draft SPG with designated officers from relevant service areas of the Council to incorporate their views and expertise.

24.        If approved, the draft SPG will be the subject of a public consultation exercise in accordance with the Council's approved protocols for consultation.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

25.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

The Vale of Glamorgan Town and District Centre's Retail Study - Martin Tonks (July 2009)

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004)

Unitary Development Plans Wales (2001)

The Vale of Glamorgan Adopted Unitary Development Plan 1996-2011 (UDP)

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Housing Renewal Policy 2010 - 2013

 

Contact Officer

Lewis Conde - Assistant Regeneration Officer - 01446 704782

 

Officers Consulted

Head of Planning & Transportation

Head of Public Protection

Operational Manager Development Control

Operational Manager Countryside & Economic Projects

Major Projects Manager

Legal Services – Committee Reports

Finance ICT & Property - Committee Reports

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.

 

 

 

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